Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beginning Your School Search: A Guide for International Students

By Jessica Sztaimberg
Assistant Director of International Admission, 
University of Hartford

I know you may be overwhelmed right now, deciding where you are going to apply, and not knowing if you will get accepted to the universities you choose. But congrats to you! You are taking the first step toward submitting an application to an overseas university! That deserves applause! Let’s get started by getting organized. Where should you apply? How do you apply? And what do you need to get admitted?
Where to apply? It’s important to remember that there are thousands of universities, not just the Ivy Leagues. In the U.S. alone there are over 4,000 universities! With so many options, it would be impossible for every university to offer you the exact same academic and social experience. You want to think about what university will offer you the best return on your investment. What you are looking for may be different from what your friend is looking for.

Not all universities are created equal. There are liberal arts colleges and community colleges. Some are private, some are public. Do you know these differences? Do your research. Some things for you to think about when choosing the right university: programs offered, size, location, opportunities for research, ranking and job placement.
Do you want to be at a small college with 1,000 students and an average class size of 15-20 students? Or do you want to be at a large university with 30,000 students where you will have lectures with hundreds of students? Some universities are in the city center, with access to public transportation, where students commute from off-campus apartments, and others are on the outskirts of a small town, where all students live on campus. What about the weather? Does it snow? Will it be very rainy all the time? Is it sunny? Is there a beach nearby? Some universities offer students the chance to participate in research all four years of their studies; others allow students this chance after their third year. Check the university’s statistics. Rankings can give you an idea of what type of student the university admits. What are the job placements like? What’s the graduation rate? Ask questions outside of rankings. Ask if you can speak with a current student or alumni. Get to know the institution.

How do I apply? Start thinking about your college applications now. Most universities will be looking for a combination of the level of courses you take (IB or AP, for example) and the grades you receive. For admission to a U.S. university, your entire secondary school record will be viewed – not just how you did on your examinations.

It is necessary to meet the academic requirements to get admitted, but many universities want to see that you are involved in other activities outside of your classes. What leadership skills do you have? Are you involved in your community? Do you have hobbies?

Not all universities hold the same requirements. Some will ask for SAT scores, recommendations and a personal essay. Others may ask you for only one of the three. You will need to check the requirements for the particular university you are interested in. It is important to be prepared and to meet all of the requirements. Learn about exam deadlines. Meet with your secondary school counselor for advice on college applications.

Am I going to be admitted? In order to find out, you will need to meet all of the academic requirements for the particular university where you apply, be prepared with all of the documents needed, stay organized and meet all of the application deadlines.

So, to help with your chances of becoming admitted, you need to do your research, ask questions, learn from current students, and stay organized.

Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. thanks allot at least i can start looking in a new perspective because have been trying in so many ways but failed


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